‘Red’ a hot ticket in Greater China

'Cliff' earns more than $3.6 million its first day

HONG KONG — John Woo’s “Red Cliff,” the most expensive Asian film ever, is off to a smashing start to its theatrical career across the ‘Greater China’ region.

China Film Group reported that the film grossed in excess of RMB25 million ($3.65 million) on Thursday, its first day of release.

In Hong Kong, where it is handled by Mei Ah in collaboration with Edko Films, “Cliff” scaled HK2,000,830 ($257,500) from 60 sites. That is a single day per screen average of $4, 280.

Taiwanese investor and distributor CMC Entertainment, reported that pic had accumulated NT$16 million ($526,000) on Thursday, making it the biggest opening day figure of the year in that territory.

Tickets to the biggest movies in China are often priced at premium rates. CFG’s topper Han Sanping forecast that the pic will have passed the RMB100 million landmark ($14.6 million) by the end of the four-day opening weekend.

Pic received a generally positive critical reception in Hong Kong. Online bloggers and commentators liked the action scenes and said that the movie did not feel as long as its 2-hour 20-minutes run time. But others also said that pic was weighed down with heavy expectations.

In Hong Kong pic has to deal with stiff competition from “Kung Fu Panda” and “Hancock” still playing on large numbers of screens.

In China, the path has been largely cleared for “Red Cliff’s” outing with considerably less competition.

Throughout Asia the pic is being released in two parts, with the second part skedded for January.

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